Does the Plastic Bags Reduction Act only apply to grocery stores?
No. The Act applies to all Nova Scotian businesses, such as grocery stores, restaurants, convenience stores, clothing stores – and the list goes on.
What type of checkout bags will be available?
Starting October 30, 2020, businesses will only be allowed to offer customers paper or reusable bags at their checkouts. Compostable or biodegradable plastic bags are not permitted. We encourage people to bring their own.
Why aren’t biodegradable or compostable bags allowed?
Biodegradable and compostable bags contaminate existing recycling streams and don’t adequately decompose in compost facilities in Nova Scotia.
Do businesses have to provide a bag to customers?
No. Businesses do not have to offer any alternatives. Businesses can choose to offer paper and reusable bags for a fee or no fee. It’s up to them.
Are businesses required to charge a fee for paper bags or reusable bags?
No. Some businesses may choose to charge a fee, and they’re allowed to do that if they want to. We encourage Nova Scotians to bring their own reusable bags.
What is done with the fee if a business charges for paper or reusable bags?
Some businesses may choose to charge a fee, and if they do, they can decide what they want to do with the money.
Can customers bring their own bags?
Yes. They are encouraged to bring their own reusable bags.
Are reusable bags safe to use?
Although COVID-19 has been shown to survive on surfaces, please note that this hasn’t been a main transmission method. COVID-19 can live on any surfaces, including paper, plastic and reusable bags. While reusable bags are safe to use, it’s important to wash and disinfect them regularly.
Can plastic bags still be recycled?
Yes. Please put them in a blue bag. Other film plastic, such as wrap around toilet tissue and other products, carrot bags, bread bags, etc., can also be put in curbside recycling programs. Contact your municipality for more information.
Will businesses be permitted to sell garbage bags and dog poop bags?
Yes. Businesses can still sell garbage bags, pet waste bags, sandwich and freezer bags, etc.
Are there requirements for paper bags?
No. There are no requirements. However, it is recommended that businesses distribute paper bags that contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper.
How will the Plastic Bags Reduction Act be enforced?
It’s the Province of Nova Scotia’s goal to work with businesses so they understand the need to comply.